Glass can be really tough to draw. Your eye wants to look both at the surface and at the inside. You have to see it as shapes more than a solid. This glass dog once belonged to my father. I have several small glass animals that his mother, my grandmother, gave me years before he died. This one lives on my front porch. Now he lives in my sketchbook.
I have been thinking about tattoos lately. I notice that everyone has one. They are very trendy and have been for a while now. As an artist, I see so many that are not well done or are just blurry and just scream tacky but I know that each person probably gets them as a symbol of something significant in their life, something that they need to be reminded of in a way that only a tattoo can do for them. Many things in my life I never want to forget but I am not sure that a tattoo is how I want to do that. I have things that I may someday need to remember that I will have forgotten. (Nowadays, just remembering where I put my glasses on a regular basis is difficult but, I don’t think I want that tattoo’d on my arm somewhere.) I have always said though, that if I were to get a tattoo, I would want it to be in white ink. It seems that white ink would fade but would still be PURE in some way. Then you would need to have pure words to live up to the purity of the white. Symbolically, white is something pure, something fragile, something sacred.
Many people now also tattoo their cars. Putting a tattoo in the form of a tombstone or a tribute to someone in their life, which is just weird to me too. I know this is another topic but, like a tattoo, should we put a dead person’s birth and death on our vehicle? Should we tattoo that information on our bodies? It just feels disrespectful to me in some way. What does that say about the deceased? That they earned the right to be worn on glass, on flesh, on metal? We know nothing of the person, just a timeline of their existence. Please don’t ever do that to me… I hope I am more than a timeline sandwiched between two dates. Tombstones hold the same purpose for me though. It is as if the dates are bookends to a life. I want to read the book. I want MY book to be read. I don’t want to be sandwiched between two sets of numbers.
But, in thinking about what a tattoo would signify for me, I would have to look to words. Not words from a language that I don’t speak, ( I always would be afraid that the tattoo artist had played a sick joke on me and put the wrong words on me) but words that would truly capture my true self. I want the world to read and know in that word ( or just a few words ) who I am. As an artist, I am not sure that an image would do the trick unless it is just a circle. A circle symbolizes so much. The ever changing life that I have had, the ever connection of my life to others, the unlimited amount of love I want to share. But I don’t want it to look like a doughnut or a condom or something other than a circle. I want it to be taken seriously, just like I want to be taken seriously.
My words often get misinterpreted. So much so that I wonder if I am speaking the same language as other people. So, maybe the circle would be best for my tattoo because I wouldn’t want the words to be taken the wrong way. I want the meaning to be clear without any need of explanation. I want to be understood. I need to have the message be clear and open, like a circle. But not open to misinterpretation. Would I use someone else’s words so that my own are not misconstrued? Should the words be a reminder to myself and screw what everyone else thinks? I think we get so caught up in what others think that we forget that we are our own selves and shouldn’t worry so much about others but with a tattoo, it is out there for the world to see. ( unless you put it in an obscure place, but then what is the point?) Circles are symbols that can start conversations. Is that what a tattoo is? Do people want you to ask them the meaning behind the ink? Are they just trendy conversation starters?
Over 10 years ago, I pierced my navel. I don’t even think anything about it anymore. It seemed so radical at the time but now it is just like an earring. Not a big deal. And in 30 years, I don’t think it will be any different, but a tattoo is something that you have to have forever. I will have to think about this some more. But I am intrigued about a possible tattoo.
BTW, the tattoos in the photos are just silly sleeves that I bought several years ago for fun.
My son Thomas and his wife live in Seattle and there is a cupcake shop there called Cupcake Royale. They LOVE cupcakes and even bought me a shirt from the shop for my birthday one year. Recently, they were home for a quick visit and we met them at the Woodstock Cafe for lunch before they flew home. Herb’s birthday had been the week before and since we can no longer celebrate birthdays together, I thought it would be a fun treat for all of us to have personalized cupcake pots with chocolate cupcakes in them at the Cafe for dessert.
Thomas is following in his dad’s curmudgeon footsteps, apparently, and is known at his workplace as the Grumpy Cat and even uses an illustration of the Grumpy Cat as his Google profile image, so it was only fitting to make his cup with the Grumpy Cat on it. Each pot was different and were super simple to make. I went to Smitten Kitchen’s site and found a recipe called the “I want Chocolate Cake” Cake recipe and it is great because it only makes enough for an 8 X 8 pan of cake, which filled 6 cupcake pots.
The remainder of the cups are listed on my Etsy site and I have 8 more in the kiln that are to be glazed. The idea is to make a special cupcake for that co-worker or birthday someone and they receive their cupcake in the pottery cup and everyone else gets the cupcake in the paper liner. It provides a simple and inexpensive gift and takes cupcakes to a new level.
We didn’t even light our candles at the Cafe…. I did mention the curmudgeon thing, didn’t I? But, the cupcakes were a hit and hopefully they are now being used in Seattle for ice cream or to hold M&Ms or something as a reminder of our short time together. It is always good to see them both.
I have a couple of Facebook friends who post the phrase “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit” on the first day of every month. According to wikipedia, this phrase should be the first words out of your mouth on the first day of the month for 31 days of good luck. I know it is just a silly superstition but I think it is fun, given that I have been doing a lot of rabbit themed work. And of course, back in the fall, I got a pet rabbit to have in the studio to keep me company and bring me smiles. I named her Tang, like the space drink because it is an orange theme name to go along with my Laughing Orange Studio theme. Last summer I started trying to throw much larger pieces and ended up with some rather large plate/bowl forms. I decided to decorate them with my rabbit theme and add variations of gardens, trees, and flowers. So, I thought I would share some of these pasta bowls here. The first of the month is in a few days so be sure and rise out of bed and let your first words be, “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit”.
and onto the shelf. More new work to put out for previewing.
This weekend I am going to be attending my first conference as an artist. I have signed up with the Artisan Center of Virginia’s Conference in Roanoke called “Rising Beyond Expectations”. I have been impressed so far with the energy of the Artisan Center’s efforts to help the artists and craftspeople of our state. I think they are realizing that we have a population of craftspeople that can add to the economy and add to the ability to create jobs and products here in the US. The conference is going to offer workshops that I hope to gain some insight as to how to continue to grow my business and market my work.
The artisan trail that our county is implementing in partnership with the Artisan Center and our own tourism department will help both Agri-artisans as well as craft persons to promote their businesses. Many of these workshops will address some of the issues that a artisan will be confronted with to get involved with this new adventure. I am really excited to get this going and to be involved with this county wide project.
WORKSHOPS FOR EVERYONE: ….artists, artisans, agri-artisans, entrepreneurs and all who desire to take their endeavors to the next level!
The New Horizon Is A Designer’s World: An engaging Panel Discussion with James Thurman- North Texas University, Alison Pack- Radford University & Jennifer Anderson- Hollins University.
“There is Art in Marketing” Sandra Tanner, Virginia Tourism Corporation: Marketing plans made easy and lots of great insights and tips for reaching your markets.
“The NoBS Guide to Networking” with Sarah Beth Jones, Nary Ordinary Business Services: Discuss why networking is important, where and when networking happens, and how to find your comfort zone in situations that can sometimes feel daunting.
“Etsy 101” – with Vanessa Bertozzi, Etsy: Learn how to become part of a global market place in a vibrant community of 15 million buyers and creative businesses.
“A Gardener’s Odyssey: From Clay to Food ” with Jim Kvach, Master Gardiner: Find out how one gardener managed to change clay into food where clay is abundant and top soil thin in this informative and upbeat conveyance of lessons learned.
“Entrepreneurs, Artisans and Taxes: Can we all get along?” with Dennis Peltier, EA: Find out the answers to your burning tax related questions.
“Educating & Inspiring the Next Artisan Generation” with Alison Pack, Radford University: Through the eyes and experiences of students at the Governor’s School as told thru images and narrative in this vibrant discussion of the importance of educating Virginia youth about contemporary craft.
“The Demo – Educating the Public and Customer Service with Fun in Creativity and Affinity” with Judy Ligon, Ligon Art: Explore the importance of doing a demo as a means to engage public in what you love to do in this hands-on workshop.
“Art As A Business” with Marc Willson, Small Business Development Association: Are you ready to sell your work? Find out how to show your work in ways to make people want to buy it and how to talk and write about it in order to make it more appealing.
“Artisan Trails of Southwest Virginia Viewshed” with Debby Loggins, Round the Mountain: After Creating fifteen artisan trails throughout the 8,624 square miles defined as Southwest Virginia was a challenge three years in the making. What’s next?
“Pricing Your Work” with Neva Bryan, Round the Mountain: Discover why pricing is important, the psychology of pricing and a step-by-step to pricing your products.
“Think It! Ink It! The Craft and Art of Printmaking” with Jennifer Anderson, Hollins University: Join in a conversation on fine art printmaking….the history, types of print and how contemporary artists make art and develop community through printmaking.
“Global, Social, Mobile, Local – How Going Green Doesn’t Mean Going Into the Red” with Helen Nunley, Pretty Good Designs: Going digital and paperless no longer means spending tons of money. Learn about some of the many choices of free or inexpensive solutions from which to choose to help you and your business “go green.”
“The Artisan Mosh Pit”: A special session where you are invited to voice your questions, concerns and suggestions for a facilitated discussion with tourism, economic development, arts and cultural community leaders.